Whisky Review #41 -Ardbeg 10

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Intro – Ardbeg 10 was the first smoky whisky I ever tried. I purchased it after my first bottle – Tomatin 12 and my second bottle – Glenfiddich 12. I did my research and found that Ardbeg 10 was a highly recommended smoky whisky from the Islay region of Scotland. Back then I found it quite ridiculous to pay $50 for a bottle of liquor. Fast forward 2 years and I only wish I could find a bottle I want to try for under $50. Back then I remember being blown away by Ardbeg 10 and it really launched me into my whisky journey. This is my 2nd bottle of Ardbeg 10 which I picked up in an “Exploration Pack” which came with a sample bottle of Ardbeg Corryveckan and Ardbeg Uigeadail. Click those links for the reviews. Ardbeg 10 is between $45-$50 in my area. 46% ABV, Non Chill-Filtered and Natural Color.

****Reviewed neat on 12/01/2016****


Nose – citrus, cream, custard, white pepper, smoke, medicinal, mint, soft vanilla and caramel, light and delicate fruit notes…surrounded by cream & smoke. Easy to nose with no strong alcohol burn. I could smell this for 30 minutes before taking a sip. Complex, intriguing and enjoyable nose.

Taste – vanilla cream, very sweet arrival, thicker fruit notes then the nose but lighter on the citrus…there is a darker fruit I can’t pick out, a lot of pepper, caramel, licorice, smoke, easy to sip…slight burn.

Finish – pepper, smoke, slightly sweet but the smoke dominates. medium finish.

Favorite Part – The Nose.

Conclusion – While the taste does follow the nose for the most part, it falls short in my opinion. I usually get a lot more out of the nose of a whisky then the taste, this one is no different. That said it is very tasty and easy to sip. I find it to be much lighter then Laphroaig 10 and with more delicate fruit notes. The complexity on the nose is great but the taste doesn’t compare to the taste my favorite standard Islay whisky, Laphroaig 10. Ardbeg 10 is priced well and gives a great show. I have no problem recommending it to people who want to try a smoky whisky from Islay. Ardbeg 10 probably won’t ever be a staple in my whisky cabinet but it is well worth the experience.

Rating – 80/100

  • Presentation – 5/5
  • Nose – 22/25
  • Taste – 27/35
  • Finish – 18/25
  • Value – 8/10
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Whisky Review #33 – Ardbeg Corryvreckan

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Intro – Another 50ml sample bottle from my Ardbeg Exploration Pack. This pack contains a 750ml bottle of the 10 year old, a 50ml bottle of Uigeadail and a 50ml bottle of Corryvreckan. Corryvreckan is bottled at a whopping 57.1% ABV. Cask strength, Non-Chill Filtered and Natural color. I am expecting a more intense, powerful version of the 10 year old.

****Review with water on o6/21/16 while listening to Sammy Davis Jr.****

Nose – smoke, citrus, freshly ground black pepper, super glue, sweet charred wood, dusty, light sherry, caramel, bubble gum, plastic, peppered sherry cake, light fruit (citrus and sherry) notes under a blanket of smoke and pepper. Easy to nose.

Taste – thick mouthful, sweet start with caramel and sugar with chocolate – turning dry, licorice, smoke at the end with light pepper.

Finish – sour wood, pepper, smoke, citrus. slightly medicinal – long finish.

Favorite Part – The Nose.

Conclusion – Water is a must. This is a strong whisky. I almost feel like I should have added more water. I only have a small amount left in my 50ml bottle so on my last glass I may add even more water. Very silky smooth mouth feel with a strong, powerful flavor. I am glad I was able to try it in a sample because I wouldn’t buy a bottle. Don’t get me wrong…it’s very good but at almost $90 around here I can’t justify that price. If you have the cash and want a really good cask strength characterful smokey whisky I’d say go for it. If you want to save $30 I’d say grab a Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength.

Rating – 79/100

  • Presentation – 5/5
  • Nose – 19/25
  • Taste – 29/35
  • Finish – 20/25
  • Value – 6/10

Whisky Review #30 – Ardbeg Uigeadail

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Intro – After months, maybe even years of considering a full bottle of Ardbeg Uigeadail I decided instead to pick up the Ardbeg Exploration Pack. This pack contains a 750ml bottle of the 10 year old, a 50ml bottle of Uigeadail and a 50ml bottle of Corryvreckan. Uigeadail is bottled at 54.2% ABV, Non Chill-Filtered and Natural Color. Not sure on the age. Paid $56 for the Exploration Pack.

****Reviewed neat on 06/01/2016****

Nose – young and fresh, sweet fruit up front, smoke, caramel, lighter sherry then Lagavulin 16, fruit flavor cigarettes, dark fruits (cherry and strawberry) with citrus undertones, soap, pepper

Taste –  sweet leather, pepper, deep dark fruits with citrus, smoke, spicy caramel, easy to sip with only slight burn toward the end with some trailing medicinal flavor. A bit too spicy throughout – water would probably help.

Finish – plastic, smoke, spice, pepper. A little too short on the finish for me. Nothing off putting.

Favorite Part – The Nose.

Conclusion – I’d have to say I enjoy this more then Lagavulin 16. Two completely different whiskies but they are pretty similar in price and both involve peat & sherry. When I consider the overall experience…Uigeadail wins. Uigeadail is $65-$70 around here so at that price would probably opt for Ardbeg 10 year or something from my true love, Laphroaig. I found the nose to be complex and interesting but the taste didn’t live up to the hype. It is still very good stuff but I’m glad I just bought the Exploration Pack.

Rating – 69/100

  • Presentation – 4/5
  • Nose -20/25
  • Taste – 27/35
  • Finish – 15/25
  • Value – 3/10